When your own manic schedule makes you feel like the weeks are whizzing by, it’s all too easy to forget about elderly relatives. Not that you don’t have all the right intentions, but something just always seems to get in the way of you popping round.
Even if you have just 5 minutes to spare, here are some ways in which you can brighten up an elderly relative’s day, and make them more comfortable at home.
Share your leftovers
Pop in with a bowl of leftovers that they can reheat for their dinner. It’s estimated that up to 1 million elderly people are malnourished, often because they can’t get out to go shopping, or because they’ve lost interest in cooking. Take around some of your delicious home-cooked food and be sure that your relative is getting a good meal.
A nice cuppa
Call in for a cup of tea! Talk to them, tell them what you’ve been up to, and listen to their stories too. You might have heard them before, but reminiscing about good memories with good company is a great way to bring a smile to their face.
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Memories in photographs
Take them pictures of you, your family, your boyfriend, anything that you think they’d like to see. You might get to see snaps of friends and family on Facebook, but they don’t. Why not frame a nice photo for them to put on display?
A sense of purpose
Let them feel needed. If you or one of your children is doing a history project at school or university, then take them round and have a chat about it. You may be surprised at what extra information your relative can give you. Or go round and ask about gardening tips, or a family recipe – show them how valuable their experience and advice really is.
Just a phone call away
Even if you can’t squeeze in time for a face to face visit, then a phone call is an easy way to check in and see how your relative is doing. It’s easy to forget how lonely and isolating it can be in your older years, especially as a widow or widower, but small gestures can go a long way in making someone’s day.